lauraybartlett's review against another edition

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5.0

I love witches and Casey weaves an enchanting tale. The story follows Castor whose coven (and her mother and father) has been hiding her unique magical powers from the Coven Leaders. When a coven member is poisoned, Castor must prove her innocence or face the ultimate price - death. Forced to travel with a boy whose magic was also kept a secret within his coven, the two come to realise that there are many secrets in their home - The Cauldron.

This book was full of twists and turns that were so well written I couldn’t put it down! The magic system was incredible to read and the dynamics of the covens was fascinating! There was danger, a travelling circus, magic and love it was the perfect stand alone! If you love witches then this book is a must add to your tbr!

Five star read!

bea_sb's review against another edition

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3.0

Once again I finished a book while “working” and couldn't wait to write a review. So here I am, explaining why the f**ork I gave 2.5 (rounded up to 3) stars, whilst everyone else is enamored by it.
I should confess though, my rating's probably biased. I've read this story right after an awesome epic fantasy book with an extremely slow burn romance fogged by massive political intrigues. My poor brain' subconsciously comparing the two of them, hence the unfairness evaluation.

SpoilerTo the story we go. Gravebriar revolves around some political conflicts in Cauldron, a witch town governed by nine coven (council/houses/group) most of them I can't even remember the name and had no relevance whatsoever to the plot.

Castor Gravebriar, our heroine, was born with an unique power, poison. For most of her life her ability's been concealed by her parents. Only when a member of her own group is poisoned, she is left with no choice but to save him and expose her power to everyone. Well, it doesn't work, the council accuses Castor of harming her coven mate and the only way to prove her innocence is by finding a gravebriar, plant with healing potential, that apparently grows in the outskirts of Cauldron. Forge Silverthorn, the hero, is selected to accompany Castor in her mission, and secretly assigned with a task of killing her.
He obviously refuses and joins the girl in a two-days journey to find the healing thingy. She doesn't fully trust him, instead she listen to a circus freak , who she only just met. The truth is revealed, her true power' set free, she fights the grandcrazy, wins and become the new leader of the coven. The end.


What kept me going? I was really curious to see how everything would play out, especially how the lies would untangle. The worldbuilding was alluring and probably what attracted me the most.

What didn't work for me: It could have been a fascinating fantasy-romance-political schemes story, but ended up being a bit too short. I just couldn't get over the mess of information thrown all over the place with no in-depth explanation.

The first 20 pages are merely random description of stores and the decoration for a ballroom. Don't get me wrong, I'm all up for a good-long description, but for a 270ish book, that's roughly 8% of the story that doesn't add any relevant info to the whole plot.

Most houses/covens had nearly zero interaction to the main conflict whatsoever. They just filled the pages with irrelevant facts I could have easily lived without it. Even now I've got no clue what those groups can actually do in terms of magic or how it works.

The two main characters were pretty flat and their relationship was so rushed (Seriously! It was a two day trip and by the end of their first night they were doing puppy eyes to each other) the connection didn't have time to develop. It went like: she was wary of him for a full on 5 minutes and sleeping together the second after. Darling, he was sent to kill you, can't you be a little more skeptical? For the first half she kept saying how heart couldn't be easily won, and she hardly trusted anyone, but yeah...guess what? There were so many contradictions I nearly DNF a couple of times. I honestly felt more for the frog, Bog than the whole romance.


Overall the book was alright.

nomomstayandread's review against another edition

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4.0

They end up working in a magical circus on their adventure - be still my heart.

tatum0312's review

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced

4.5

liviaa's review against another edition

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3.0

There was potential I ain’t gonna lie. It’s worth a read. The plot twists had me going and I kept reading cuz I wanted to find out what’s happening. But the main characters season-less. Very flat very bland. Forge especially he kinda reminded me of some other personality lacking characters like Mal or almost ever male in tog. And don’t even get me started on the romance. Two days went by and these mfs are already all over each other not to mention the love confession after like two weeks like giiirl? Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for slow burn romance but this wasn’t for me and their relationship felt kinda bland too ngl. But overall just read it for the story itself and the plots cuz it’s deffo worth it.

cgfrances's review against another edition

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5.0

Damn, Gravebriar.
I. Am. In. Love.

This book was one of those 'oh that looks interesting' picks from seeing it reviewed by others, and let me tell you. IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

I was swept away in this world that was built from scratch and the magic woven throughout every letter. It was spellbinding and an overall wild ride. There were twists and turns I didn't see coming, and I felt so involved with each character we were introduced to. This author really has a way of making you want to know more about everyone and makes you really care about the outcome of the story.

I am usually quite picky with witches/magic books, but there was something unique and enthralling about the way Casey L. Bond writes her stories. The only thing I would really change is making things a bit more drawn out, more suspense, just MORE of everything, because it went by way too quickly! I was not ready to be done with this story or world. I was (still am) very invested in Forge and Castor!

I am so excited to be a new fan of this author!

bujobookdragon's review against another edition

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5.0

I truly enjoyed this story! I wish I could read more about Castor & Forge

thewitchybibliophile's review against another edition

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5.0

As soon as I heard witches and Casey Bond in the same sentence, I was like SIGN ME UP! Oh my stars. What Bond gives us is something so spellbinding and unique with Gravebriar. Once I started, I could not put it down. I ignored the world as I was so wrapped up in the one Bond has created. This is mystery and intrigue, a level of romance and so much more. The attention to detail and the vivid descriptions kept me so immersed in this story!
The build through this book as well as the flow of the story is something I honestly could not put into words. I felt like I was living within these pages. Seeing the bond between Castor Gravebriar and Forge Silverthorn grow as they go through so many intense moments, it really builds into something so much more. Honestly, this is one of those books you have to just sit and devour to experience it all for yourself! I highly recommend it!

akindleincolorado's review

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adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced

4.0

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